Author Topic: One too many bad habits!  (Read 4919 times)

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yupitsme

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One too many bad habits!
« on: August 15, 2012, 02:04:16 PM »
One of my co-workers does one too many things that drives me nuts.

1. She clips her nails.....every.single.day.
2. She sucks on her teeth after every meal.
3. She wear extremely bad perfume every now and then.

My managers know but they won't do anything about it. What can I do? I don't want to look like I'm picking on her because I really like her but these things drive me nuts!

ddawn23

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 02:26:12 PM »
Clips her nails every day?  I'm impressed.  Mine don't grow fast enough to be able to cut them everyday.  You might get a better response from your superiors if you present that as a hygiene issue instead of an annoyance issue.

As far as the perfume goes, I'm afraid you'll probably just have to grin and bear it.  You think it smells really bad, but at least one other person doesn't.  It's unreasonable to expect the managers to crack down on employees wearing certain perfumes because other employees don't like them, especially since she only wears it every now and then.

Judah

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2012, 02:31:47 PM »
Those don't seem like the kind of issues a supervisor should get involved in.
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AustenFan

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2012, 02:35:12 PM »
None of these things affects her productivity, so I can't see management agreeing to step in here. If it's affecting your productivity you could be asked to move your work station away from hers, but I would expect to be labelled a bit of a fusspot for taking your issues with these things to them.

Odds are you do a thing or two that drive her crazy, would you appreciate her complaining to your boss about it?

yupitsme

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2012, 03:13:23 PM »
On the fact that it effects my productivity - it does. When her perfume smells awful it gives me a bad headache. The teeth sucking and neail clipping make me leave the room.

I probably do somethings also that she doesn't like but if a manager came to me and said that they have had a complaint about me doing XYZ i would watch myself from now on.

I just got up the courage to mention it to my boss. She actually told me to look online and find soem articles about work place etiquette and she will send it to everyone. I know it might not make it stop but I feel that it might help.

ddawn23

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2012, 03:40:18 PM »
Nail clipping makes you leave the room?  How does it make you leave the room?

I think AustenFan's point was that if it is your productivity that is being harmed, it is you who needs to make a change, not your coworker.

yupitsme

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2012, 03:47:21 PM »
Nail clipping makes you leave the room?  How does it make you leave the room?

I think AustenFan's point was that if it is your productivity that is being harmed, it is you who needs to make a change, not your coworker.

It makes me cringe. I'm sorry that it is the most annoying sound in the world to me. And I am not the only person in here bothered by these things.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2012, 03:49:39 PM »
The perfume thing is a definite issue.  There are many of us with scent allergies and sensitivities.  I would approach the person directly and ask them to not wear scent.  If more people in the office wear scent, then I would approach management to see about an office wide policy.  No one should have to work with a headache or take medication every day to get rid of the headache when it can be easily prevented by the action of another.

The nail clipping could also be addressed directly.  Let her know that the sound bothers you and ask her to either do this at home or at least in the washroom, barring an emergency repair, of course.  Supervisors prefer that this kind of thing be addressed directly, IME.  If the other party isn't cooperative, then getting management involved via some sort of cubical etiquette missive is appropriate.  Personal grooming should be done at home!

The one sticky one for me is the tooth sucking.  Some times it is a habit that is so ingrained that it is difficult to break.  So unless you want to be constantly reminding this person, I don't think I'd address this one.  Take your washroom break, if you can, when she comes back from lunch.  I used to wear braces so I would swish water around in my mouth and suck a bit to draw water through the gaps to try to clean any food out of the brackets.  But I would do this in the washroom!
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Steve

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2012, 03:56:14 PM »
I would just like to chime in that your reactions seem a bit over the top to me. Leaving the room because someone clips their nails?

I agree that clipping is not a common office activity, but I do know that some of our receptionists file and polish during the slow times. It does not seem too gross to me. I assume she disposes of the clippings in an apropriate way?

I really do not see how one sucks one's teeth, but this seems to be only after meals, so I suppose it is a way she cleans her teeth. This is once a day, yet it impacts your producivity?

And the perfume gives you such headace's you complain to your boss about it.

In my team I would get my "tolerance and everyone is okay as they are" -speach out of the mothballs. You seem too bothered byy too little things for an office setting, imo.



O'Dell

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2012, 04:36:26 PM »
The perfume issue seems pretty easy to take care of since it's an "every now and then" situation. On a day that she wears it, let her know that the particular scent she's wearing that day gives you a headache. "Normally your perfume is nice, but that particular scent gives me a headache. I know it's not a fair thing to ask, but could you help me out and not wear it to work? I wouldn't ask but it impacts my productivity."

The nail clipping? It's not good etiquette to perform personal grooming in the presence of others. A quick make-up check or swipe of lipstick and that sort of thing is fine. I consider some damage control on a nail problem to be fine too such as filing or clipping a snagged or broken nail. Extended grooming regimes are not okay. I think your bosses idea of business etiquette articles is a good idea...they might cover more bad habits that have developed. If things continue, he/she can take it from there.

The tooth sucking? Don't eat with her? Offer her a mint or toothpick or gum? Dunno. That's not a problem I've ever run into or heard complaints about.
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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2012, 05:07:31 PM »
I'd alter O'Dell's script slightly: Don't say "I know it's not a fair thing to ask," because that makes it easy for the other person to say no. And it's not unreasonable to ask people to avoid doing something that gives you a migraine. I'd suggest a lead-in like "This may seem a bit odd" or "I know most people don't have a problem with your perfume, but...." The request is unusual, but not unreasonable, especially if you aren't asking her to avoid all scented products, but only specific things that you have a problem with.

Similarly, I don't wear anything lilac-scented, much as I love lilacs, because my husband's lilac allergy is strong enough that he reacts badly to some lilac-scented lotions and such, as well as to the actual flowers. And when it's lilac season, I make a trip or two to Central Park or the Botanic Garden by myself. "Please don't wear that perfume to work" doesn't mean this woman can't ever use it again.
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bah12

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2012, 09:21:05 PM »
I'm sorry but I agree with the PPs who say this is something you need to fix for yourself.  Aside from the strong perfume, these aren't really big enough issues.  They bother you and that's valid, but have you done anything to make it easier on you?  Have you tried talking to your coworker before you talked to your boss? 

I could deal with a coworker that had a personal issue with some habit of mine at work if it was brought to me in a fair and professional manner.  Something like "Bah, I have a weird thing with the sound of clipping nails.  It makes me cringe.  I know that's not totally your problem, but I was wondering if you wouldn't mind not doing it while we were both working.  I'd really appreciate it!"

If my boss approached me and told me a coworker had complained about me clipping nails, I'd think..."Really?  Why didn't she just tell me it bothered her?"

Anyway, I think your boss handled this really well and I think an article on workplace etiquette is a great idea. 

Mental Magpie

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2012, 01:23:45 AM »
I would just like to chime in that your reactions seem a bit over the top to me. Leaving the room because someone clips their nails?

I agree that clipping is not a common office activity, but I do know that some of our receptionists file and polish during the slow times. It does not seem too gross to me. I assume she disposes of the clippings in an apropriate way?

I really do not see how one sucks one's teeth, but this seems to be only after meals, so I suppose it is a way she cleans her teeth. This is once a day, yet it impacts your producivity?

And the perfume gives you such headace's you complain to your boss about it.

In my team I would get my "tolerance and everyone is okay as they are" -speach out of the mothballs. You seem too bothered byy too little things for an office setting, imo.

There's not a sound that just drives you up the wall no matter how small?  I would leave the room, too, if I heard constant clipping.  That's how it ruins productivity: if I was in the middle of something and had to leave the room because someone can't do personal grooming in an appropriate place, I lose productivity.  I wouldn't equate putting up with personal grooming in an inappropriate place with something that needs to be tolerated.  That one most certainly needs to be addressed one way or another.

As for the teeth sucking, that would also drive me bonkers.  That being said,  that is a personal tic that does not fall within the bounds of etiquette.  You'll have to take it upon yourself to remove yourself from her presence, OP, when she's done eating.  Unfortunately, that may also mean loss of productivity, but in this case, I'm afraid there really isn't anything you can do about it.
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Ceallach

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2012, 02:17:41 AM »
Teeth sucking I think is something you must politely ignore.  It's likely an unconscious habit anyway.

The nail clipping is definitely something I would scratch my head about.  To be honest, the very first time it happened I would have given CW a quizzical look and said "Why do you clip your nails at the office?"  and hopefully made her think twice about it.    It's harder though, if it's something she's done everyday and you've always ignored it.  Much harder to *suddenly* appear to be bothered by it. 

Perfume - if this is giving you a headache and legitimately affecting your work, explain that to your supervisor (WITHOUT the other gripes - that just makes you sound whingey, you need to focus on the issue they can fix!) and ask them to resolve the situation e.g. perhaps implement a no perfume policy for medical reasons. 
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Roe

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Re: One too many bad habits!
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2012, 09:44:03 AM »
To be honest, the OP does come off as a bit nitpicky.  (minus the perfume situation)

The nail clipping, no, it's probably not the nicest sound in the world but neither do I find the trash truck sounds pleasant.  We live in a world full of unpleasant sounds and not everything is going to suit us.  Same with the teeth sucking.  I'm sure if your coworker were posting, she'd have something to say about your habits.  When people work together, we deal with annoying habits everyday.  It's up to us to find a way to work around it and deal with them. 

OP, aside from the annoying habits of your coworker, do you get along with her?  Are you friendly?